In the early 1960s, advertising probably really didn’t get any more avant garde than this homage of Alain Resnais’ “mysterious” (some might say “confusing,” others “pompous”) Last Year at Marienbad, perhaps the ultimate incomprehensible “foreign film.”
Around the time of its 1961 release, Marienbad was much parodied. This seems more sincere than a lampooning, though.
Glenn Beck has launched his own brand of jeans, 1791 Denim. They only went on the market 2 days ago, but they’ve already sold out despite the $130 price tag. I’d go into more detail about the ideology of Glenn Beck’s blue jeans, but the commercial really speaks for itself.
If you’re perceptive to the subtlest of thematic symbolism, you’ll notice it has it all: nationalist imagery, nostalgia for some mythic time period when people and things were apparently better because of work ethic or some bullshit, a noble, industrious white dude, and the romanticization of really arduous labor! The spot even demonstrates the classic hypocritical boner for “American-made” products, while Beck himself still promotes a free market that favors outsourcing on his radio show.
The final line asserts that in America, you may not get the chance to succeed, but by gum, you have the chance to try, dammit! And in the end, the guy builds a giant phallic symbol that beats the Russians to the moon! USA! USA! USA!
It’s likely some of you have already seen this. But even after being on YouTube for six years, I managed to miss it. I saw the 1970s Mandom commercial featuring Charles Bronson for the first time the other night at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin. It was part of a reel of short subjects the theater screens in lieu of the kind of gag-inducing “real” ads shown in most movie theaters. Watching a vintage Japanese commercial in which Bronson slathers himself with deodorant while making sexy talk is lighyears better than one of those shitty Fandango ads.
The doorman is played by the wonderful character actor Percy Helton.
Enjoy the Mandom theme song (“Lovers Of The World”) by Jerry Wallace after the jump…
I remember the New York City garbage strike of 1981. It lasted 17 miserable days and gave the sweltering summer air of Manhattan the bilious aroma of the steam room at Plato’s Retreat. You’d step into the street and your stomach would clench as tightly as an altar boy’s bunghole at the sound of a Priest’s footsteps.
When I returned to New York a couple of years ago, the place certainly smelled better than it used to, but there was still a hint of piss in the air, with some notes of decayed rat and subway fumes. Not exactly what you’d call appealingly aromatic - more like something concocted in the perfumeries of Hell.
Men’s Direct, purveyors of “luxury grooming products,” has their own take on what NYC smells like and I salute them for having highly discriminating snouts. Their olfactory nerves interpret Manhattan’s scent as…
[...] a lovely sunny day in the Big Apple City. The air is filled with the scents of lilac and rose from the vast and majestic Central Park. You are walking along Times Square under the mild and fresh breeze from New York harbor. Enjoy this modern, crisp and invigorating fragrance with sparkling and sourish notes of apple.
Top: Green and crispy apple
Heart: Juicy apple, Lotus flower, Jasmine, Lilac, Rose petal
Base: Caramelized apple, White musk, Vanilla, Caramel”
Is the product called “The Scent Of Departure” because people around you will get up and leave once they get a whiff of it?
Peters on wheels. Phallic-shaped trucks deliver creamy treats to the eager masses.
This Australian commercial for an ice cream bar foregos subtext and heads right for the center of the peach-fuzzed meatpit of mortal delight, leaving this viewer with a slightly queasy feeling. The thrust of the thing is given an added bit of explicit creepiness when you consider that the Superstar bar is made by a company named “Peters.”
“You got to bite off the big strawberry points to get to the creamy vanilla center.”
Morrissey has allowed high-street department store, John Lewis to use a cover version of “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” on the chain’s £6 million Christmas advertising campaign. The track has been covered by Slow Moving Millie (aka Amelia Warner, ex-wife of Colin Farrell, apparently), which follows on from last year’s take of Elton John’s “Your Song” recorded by Ellie Goulding.
According to the Daily Telegraph Morrissey is “delighted” that the chain was using the track. Craig Inglis, John Lewis’s marketing director, is quoted as saying:
“We know our audience holds The Smiths and bands from that era in high esteem.”
“It’s a magical feeling when you find that perfect present for someone; there’s a great sense of anticipation from the moment you buy it to the moment you give the gift on the big day.
“That feeling is exactly what we’ve tried to capture with this year’s Christmas campaign.”
Ruth Paterson, head of marketing at Rough Trade, the record label which released most of The Smiths’ work, said she was entertained by the collaboration.
“I do like the idea of a really good song by a really good band being played in Middle England’s living rooms,” she told The Times.
“I’m sure that wasn’t the song’s intended purpose, but I think that’s a good thing.”
As Morrissey edges towards a pensionable age, the “substantial pecuniary boost” this ad will bring will no doubt be greatly appreciated - though perhaps not by his fans, as if that will matter.
After Morrissey and Christmas, who’s next? And what other advert involving high street business and alleged hip musician would make for the most unlikely pairing? Suggestions, please.
Dangerous Minds is a compendium of oddities, pop culture treasures, high weirdness, punk rock and politics drawn from the outer reaches of pop culture. Our editorial policy, such that it is, reflects the interests, whimsies and peculiarities of the individual writers. And sometimes it doesn't. Very often the idea is just "Here's what so and so said, take a look and see what you think."
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